Mario Balotelli has been frozen out by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and rumors about a return to Italy are floating around. But, Balotelli is set to receive a six-figure bonus if he stays at Liverpool past the transfer window.
The 25-year-old Italian forward is not allowed to train with the first team, and was left out of the pre-season squad that traveled to Asia. But the loyalty bonus could be enough persuade Balotelli to stay at Anfield according to the Daily Mail.
Balotelli joined Liverpool from AC Milan last summer, but had a difficult first season in the Premier League, only scoring four goals in 28 appearances.
Liverpool left back Alberto Moreno spoke to Spanish media outlet Marca about the Balotelli situation.
I think he’s unfairly maligned. He’s a very relaxed guy, he never bothers anyone,” Moreno said. “He could be a great striker: he’s got the tools. Things haven’t gone well for him here, he’s really struggled to score goals. ‘This had never happened to me before’, he told me. I wish him the best if he ends up leaving because he’s a great lad.”
Balotelli is not the only player frozen out by Rodgers, as fellow Italian striker Fabio Borini and Spaniard Jose Enrique are also not allowed to train with the first team.
Balotelli signed a four-year deal that earns him $140,000 per week when he arrived at Anfield. Serie A clubs Lazio and Sampdoria are rumored to be interested in Balotelli.